Women and Men: Influencers and Leaders
Continuing on with my thoughts on women and men, below is the next part of the article I wrote. I jump right into women being influencers and men being leaders at their core (it doesn’t mean women can’t lead and men can’t influence, but it is how they do those things). If you take time to really mediate on this I think you will see what I am saying . . . I believe it is important to seek out and understand the strengths that we were made with because then we can honor one another instead of overpower or abuse.
One core dynamic between women and men is in the complementary powers of influence and leadership. Women are influencers, representing the church. The men are leaders, representing Christ. We influence Christ’s heart toward us and others through respect and honoring His leadership. We depend on His leadership for the benefit of our lives.
Though marriage is the exemplar of this dynamic, these two qualities of influence and leadership underscore all aspects of life. Whether single, married or widowed, a woman’s power is in her influence and a man’s power is in his leadership. These attributes speak not so much to what we do but how we do it. They are the underlying force energizing our actions. Men influence and women lead, but how they carry out those roles is what makes them different and compliment one another, not create discord.
Among other traits, a woman manifests the qualities of beauty, compassion, sensitivity, and intuitiveness. She possesses these attributes to accomplish her role of influencing the actions of others for good. Influence involves the ability to produce an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command. Just about every woman in the Bible was an influencer to a leader; Eve to Adam, Ruth to Boaz, Esther to King Ahasuerus, Sarah to Abraham, Herodias to Herod, Rebecca to Jacob, Rachel to Jacob, Delilah and Samson, and Pilate’s wife to Pilate. These women modeled both the negative and positive outcomes of this role. Remaining behind the scenes, their influence on history is astounding; they were the progenitors of significant events. Influencers hold a powerful position, and women are accountable for the ability that has been given them. How a woman fulfills her role will determine whether she will be a positive or negative influence in the lives of others. In lacking understanding of her role, abusing or suppressing it, she will create mayhem. It is her responsibility to learn from God about her role and trust His working in her to execute it with confidence and humility. In a similar fashion, the church influences the body of Christ.
A man represents the qualities of strength, protection, passion, provision and authority. All these attributes enable him to lead others. Christ set the perfect example. God put us under His care. (John 17:9) Representing the head, men have been given others to care for, whether those “others” are families, businesses, or nations. Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Joseph, Jesus, and the Apostles are a few examples of leaders who provided, protected, and loved those they were responsible for. Follow a proficient leader and there will be provision, protection, organization, vision, and growth. Leaders set the course, steer the ship and take command. The goal of their leadership is to benefit others. Their authority isn’t a dictatorship; it is a stewardship to those whom they lead. Being at the helm is a tremendous responsibility and requires courage and humility. (Mark 10:43) In a similar manner, Christ, as our leader, is our preeminent example.
As leaders, it is critical for men to see the situation from a fuller perspective and here is where oneness between man, the leader, and woman, the influencer, comes into play. Men bear the responsibility for the ones they lead. God has placed men at the helm and if they are negligent all will suffer. Using keen discernment, men profit when they take heed of the influencers whose role it is to help them. God gave women different strengths that benefit men. They see, feel, and experience what men don’t. The combined wisdom and insight produces a better result. Alone all suffer, together all prevail. God created them to work together not in isolation.